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ADB grants $200m for power projects

ADB grants $200m for power projects

Mar 06, 2013 - 17:53

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday agreed to give the Afghan government a $200 million grant to finance power transmission and distribution grid development projects.

The projects, to be implemented in northern, central and eastern parts of Afghanistaninfo-icon, would connect more than 20,000 new customers to the country’s power grid, the two sides said.

After signing the grant agreement with the ADB country director, Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal said: “Developing the energy sector is fundamental for a vibrant economy. Energy, in fact, is the bedrock of development – from SMEs to industries.”

ADB’s energy programme had contributed significantly to regional cooperation, the minister acknowledged, calling energy security a key driver of political stability, economic growth and social cohesion.

Joji Tokeshi, ADB's country director said:  “Creating a base for better connections between major power systems in the country can create a wealth of opportunities for newly-connected communities…”

The two sides also signed a grant agreement aimed at supporting economic growth by improving transport infrastructure to increase trade, jobs and access to domestic and international markets.

“Roads are essential to Afghanistan’s economic development and the country has a challenging terrain and a widely-scattered population. As a landlocked country, it depends on roads for trade with neighboring countries,” said Tokeshi.

The second tranche of the Transport Network Development Investment Programme -- comprised of a id="mce_marker"76 million ADF grant, a $60 million grant from the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund and government contribution of id="mce_marker"9 million – will be used to construct and rehabilitate about 188-km regional and national roads.

Through ADB’s support, the country could make use of a 750-kilometer network of rehabilitated and improved roads that allowed more travel in less time, said Zakhilwal.



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